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House prices ‘unlikely to rise’

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There is unlikely to be a significant rise in house prices in Northern Ireland next year, according to a report by Davy stockbrokers.

It said a lack of credit, poorer loan to value ratios, the prospect of higher taxes and interest rates and employment uncertainty were all factors.

Mike Irvine, from the company, said their findings indicated that house prices may still continue to fall. He said: “There are a number of factors that will keep prices under pressure.”

The report was published as the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said the number of new mortgages approved by the main UK banks for house purchase was rising.

Banks, which currently account for most new mortgages, approved 42,100 home loans for house buyers in September, up from 40,100 in August.

Bank mortgage approvals are now 77% higher than a year ago. The BBA said approvals had now been “rising steadily” for the past eight months.

Earlier this month, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said that although house prices in Northern Ireland were becoming more stable, nearly one in three estate agents were still reporting falling values.

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